Employers and organizations are now placing greater emphasis on candidate experiences, as it impacts not just their short-term recruiting successes but also their long-term goals.
A candidate’s experience has been demonstrated to affect an organization’s capacity to recruit the best candidates, minimize employee turnover, and foster a happier working environment. Moreover, the repercussions of a negative candidate experience extend far beyond a single applicant. Unfavorable feedback on sites like Glassdoor or poor word-of-mouth can push applicants to look elsewhere.
That is why companies are increasingly investing in candidate experience management software – either as a standalone platform or built into the applicant tracking system (ATS)– to unlock significant benefits.
Defining the Candidate Experience
Candidate experience can be loosely defined as the applicant’s journey, experience, and first-contact interactions when applying for positions at an organization. This includes their first introduction to the company, conversations with recruiters, and the onboarding process once recruited.
Ensuring prospective employees have pleasant experiences throughout the recruitment process can help businesses attract the best talent more efficiently.
Employers today cannot just select the best candidates and take it for granted that offer letters will be accepted. As the talent war intensifies, managing candidate experience is an essential function of HR. 75% of workers who had a positive experience during the hiring process noted that it impacted the decision to accept the job offer. And, following a negative experience, 50% of those surveyed decided to turn down the offer.
Candidate experience management software can make the hiring process more convenient and efficient, unlocking rich dividends for the HR team as well as the company as a whole.
What is a Candidate Experience Platform?
A candidate experience platform is virtual recruiting software that engages candidates throughout the talent acquisition journey. Ultimately, hiring involves both parties, and understanding the other side’s point of view is critical for any successful partnership.
Using a candidate experience platform, hiring managers can design hiring experiences that are informative and customized, empowering candidates to make the most appropriate choice. A sophisticated candidate experience platform offers multiple tools to enhance candidate engagement, from chat-based 24/7 engagement to hiring analytics.
(Also Read: 30 Ways to Recruit Candidates Virtually)
6 Reasons Why It Is Worth Investing in a Candidate Experience Platform
This type of software offers several benefits that are crucial for any growing brand:
1. Improved employer brand reputation
Companies that prioritize a pleasant and meaningful candidate experience nurture a proactive and positive workplace in general, thereby building a strong corporate reputation among jobseekers and current staff members. Over time, this organizational culture of putting employees first will make it a preferred workplace.
2. Reduced turnover costs, thanks to higher retention
The software helps applicants determine early in the hiring process if the company’s ethos and values match theirs. This will improve retention rates in the future. Candidates know the organizational culture and can quickly adjust to its work environment.
3. Faster hiring processes
Better candidate experiences inherently minimize hiring timeframes. The days of excessive documentation, prolonged wait times, and inadequate communication are long gone. With candidate experience applications in place, the recruiting process is now considerably faster and streamlined. Most of these tools will create more concentrated candidate pools, which makes it easier for recruiters to review them.
4. Increased workforce productivity
Positivity is, in many ways, infectious. Candidates with excellent interview experience will likely become more focused and satisfied employees who exhibit enthusiasm for their jobs. Also, your use of a candidate experience platform is likely to attract top talent who bring outstanding individual performance to the table and increase team productivity.
5. Lower recruitment marketing costs
If an applicant has a positive candidate experience with an organization — even if they aren’t hired — they are likely to recommend the company to their peers and colleagues. This could aid future recruiting processes by creating a ready talent pool for hiring managers.
The company will also save hugely on recruitment marketing costs, as word-of-mouth is a great way to attract high-quality talent without added spending.
6. A growing passive talent pipeline
A passive talent reservoir of former applicants who might reapply again is a great asset. If something opens up that matches their talents and qualifications, you can reach out to former candidates. Since they are already acquainted with your company, they have a higher chance of receiving a positive response. However, it’s unlikely that past candidates who had a bad experience will be keen on hearing about future opportunities. A candidate experience platform prevents this from happening.
Key Features of a Candidate Experience Platform that Add to its Value
HR technology improves candidate experiences by providing:
1. Personalized job matching on career sites
Dynamic AI customization of candidate experiences is a highly advantageous feature. Employers can instantly match a candidate’s preferences, experience, talents, and location with job openings that are the best fit. The AI engine will display relevant content as candidates browse through your career pages. This leads to a compelling and distinctive journey for prospective hires.
2. Automated communication
From the candidate’s perspective, uncertainty is one of the most nerve-wracking elements of job applications. Job seekers want to find out where they are in the evaluation and scheduling process. The absence of status updates jeopardizes the employer’s reputation and acceptance rates, as the best applicants will likely pursue other opportunities.
Conversational interfaces, such as chatbots or SMS scheduling, help organizations automate their communications. This sustains job seeker interest and offers a chance to strengthen your brand reputation. You can also use automated interview scoring, candidate auto-advance, and automated scheduling to further remove friction in the candidate experience.
3. Pre-hiring assessments
In a candidate experience platform, employment simulations and work-related exercises help applicants visualize themselves in the position. The best applicants are even more enthusiastic about working for your company. Moreover, it might help applicants who were skeptical about the job (but were still eager) to find out how things would eventually work out.
4. Text-based interviews
Candidate experience software enables early engagement with candidates. Text interviews are brief and straightforward to complete. They are informative for recruiters and applicants as well. These tools help HR departments ask a few easy questions about job qualifications, like license possession or shift availability.
5. Candidate experience data analytics
Candidate experience data encompasses the information and inputs accumulated during interactions with applicants. This includes submitting an application, conversations, evaluations, and dialogue. The platform will unlock detailed insights like:
- Details on applicant completion rates, like drop-off points and the time spent on each stage.
- Data on the efficacy of communication strategies, including turnaround times and communication models
- Insights on applicant experience during interviews and assessments
Best Practices to Maximize Your Investment in Candidate Experience Platforms
Whether you purchase packaged software or use candidate experience management features in your existing ATS, you can follow a few best practices to increase the ROI from your software investments.
- Integrate the platform with the rest of your hiring technology ecosystem. This will allow candidates to experience data analytics that feeds through other workflows – e.g., document submission in the onboarding process.
- Pay special attention to security. Candidate experience software will process large amounts of personal and sensitive data and are potential targets for cybersecurity attacks. Companies need to adhere to compliance norms and secure HR databases to prevent any threat from impacting candidate information.
- Automate workflows to scale candidate engagement as your organization grows. It can be challenging to keep up with increasing hiring numbers when communication, document sharing, scheduling, and other processes happen manually. Fortunately, candidate experience platforms have automation features to save you the hassle and costly delays.
- Make your candidate experience platform culture-driven. How you communicate with candidates, the frequency and channel, the types and number of interviews, etc., must derive from your values as a company.
- Candidate experience platforms are fast becoming a staple in modern organizations looking to build an employee-centric work environment – which begins with candidates first. Automation, data analytics, integration, and personalization let you carve out a great first impression that sticks.
Up next, optimize your candidate experience platform purchase with our HR tech purchase SWOT checklist.